KAMPALA, April 14–The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO) has given an additional 1m Euros (over sh3.1b) as an emergency contribution towards the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for the South Sudanese refugees in Uganda.
This is the second tranche of funding UNICEF has received from ECHO towards emergency response to South Sudan refugee crisis in Uganda. The first tranche of funding totaling 1.9m Euros was provided in August 2014.
By 2014 the number of refugees in Uganda had hit at least 317,000, according to the records by the department of refugees which is directly under the Minister of State for Relief and Disaster Preparedness, Musa Ecweru.
According to a joint press release UNICEF is scheduled to support four main interventions in the districts of Adjumani, Arua, Koboko, Yumbe and Kiryandogo in northern Uganda.
Over 145,000 children in the refugee camps and host communities are expected to be immunised against measles, while around 62,000 “under give children” would be immunised against polio.
Vitamin A supplements would be given to around 63,000 refugee children and host communities, who are aged between 6-59 months, while at least 150,000 children aged 1-14 years, would receive deworming medication and; over 2,500 children would receive Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) therapeutic care.
In addition, infant and young child feeding services, maternal nutrition counseling services and iron/folic supplements would be provided to over 16,000 pregnant women.
According to the release, the comprehensive response was intended to reduce the high levels of Global Acute Malnutrition among refugees.
Further, with the ECHO’s assistance at least 42,000 refugees and school children would be able to access water, sanitation and hygiene services, while 25,000 refugee children would also be able to access psychosocial and recreational support services at 25-child-friendly-centers.
“Under the same programme, UNICEF will register and re-unite separated children with their families using the innovative Rapid FTR child identification and family reunification system as well as further assist vulnerable children by strengthening increased access to psychosocial and recreational support at 25 child friendly services.
With this additional funding, we are now able to expand our emergency response to thousands of South Sudanese refugee children in Uganda,” said UNICEF’s Representative to Uganda, Aida Girma.
“We are extremely grateful to ECHO and the people of the European Union for the ongoing support to provide technical services that will improve the health, education and protection of South Sudanese children in Uganda,” Girma emphasized.
She said that under the overall coordination of Office of the Prime Minister and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UNICEF is providing technical leadership in areas related to its mandate. This includes water and sanitation, health and nutrition for children and lactating mothers, child protection and emergency education.
“We are proud to continue our partnership with UNICEF to expand life-saving services to South Sudanese refugee children and their families in Uganda and remain committed to supporting the people of South Sudan with humanitarian assistance as needed,” said ECHO’s Isabelle D’Haudt – Humanitarian advisor, Horn of Africa team – Kenya and Uganda.
ECHO funds relief operations for victims of natural and conflicts outside the European Union. Aid is channeled impartially, straight to victims, regardless of their race, ethnic group, religion, gender, age, nationality or political affiliation. ECHO is among UNICEF’s largest humanitarian donors.